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Archive for December, 2010

Third Level Workload-Reply to Prof. Von Prondzynsky and Sean Flynn

December 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Letter published in Irish Times Friday, Dec 31
Push to increase teaching load
Madam, – Your Education Correspondent, Seán Flynn (Home News, December 29th) referred to a message I sent to colleagues in institutes of technology recently. He also quoted Prof Von Prondzynski, who is not from our sector, as saying that holidays in institutes of technology were “hard to defend”. In addition, Mr Flynn refers to a current annual workload of 560 hours per year. The Department of Education is attempting to enforce an annual teaching load of a minimum of 560 hours per year in addition to the additional hour per week stipulated in the Croke Park deal. Workload is a different matter.

The workload of lecturers at third level involves both teaching and scholarship. Scholarship includes inter alia research, creative writing and maintenance of world-class practical skills in a rapidly changing world.

Some commentators take no account of the number of post- graduate students supervised, the amount of research and scholarship carried out, the number of publications produced, the weight of course direction and co-ordination undertaken, or the course reviews completed (not to mention lecture preparation and task correction).

Under the Croke Park deal the management side is demanding that the teaching load be increased to 20 plus one hours per week for lecturers and 22 plus one hours for assistant lecturers. A survey commissioned by TUI some years ago concluded that the current 16/18 hour lecturing load was equivalent to a 50-54 hour working week of teaching and related duties alone. It is extremely difficult to conduct the degree of scholarship appropriate to a third-level institution in the context of such a teaching load.

Currently many lecturers struggle on with scholarly activity during term time and then put on a big push during the holidays. Any agreement to reduce the vacation period would lead to an extension of teaching into the holiday period by the authorities.

The attempt by institutes and Government to reduce vacation periods in addition to imposing the biggest teaching load in Western Europe on lecturing staff cannot fail to damage the institutes and literally make the adequate performance of full academic duties impossible.

It is clear that government wishes to effectively reduce the institutes to teaching-only institutions.

The development of institutes of technology has been a hugely successful initiative in Irish education. Could the Government that oversaw the destruction of the banks be allowed to seriously damage third-level education also? – Yours, etc,

PADDY HEALY, 086-4183732
Griffith Court,
Fairview,
Dublin 3.

List system would protect Guilty Ministers-Reply to Garret Fitzgerald

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

A List System Would Protect Guilty Ministers
A reply to Garret FitzGerald by Paddy Healy
The disastrous performance of governments over the last decade has given rise to considerable public discussion on electoral reform. Many commentators favour the introduction of a national or regional list system to elect a significant proportion of Dail deputies. Garret Fitzgerald argues in Irish Times,Dec4:” the Dáil would benefit from having some TDs who would not be prisoners of local interests, but who could speak and act in the general national interest. Finally, and in national terms most important of all, the additional-member system would enable political parties to improve the quality of their Dáil representation by placing people with valuable expertise high on their supplementary lists.”
I believe that such a proposal would further damage our democracy. What are the assumptions behind such a proposal? It is assumed that undue attention to local matters and local constituents is a major factor in the failure of our political system. It is also assumed that “competent people” freed from local duties and accountability would be more likely to act in the national interest. Lurking behind the assumption is the incorrect view that the current crisis was caused by overspending on public services. The facts are that the proportion of GDP spent on public services in Ireland is low by west European standards. What is in fact low is the tax take which places a light burden on the rich and subsidises the investments of the rich with huge tax breaks in accordance with the precepts of neo-liberal economics.
This, together with trusting to competition and consequent failure to regulate the banks, caused the current crisis. In a word greed was deified. The main beneficiaries of FF/PD rule were the very rich who have very few votes.
The board of Directors of the Central Bank in the period 2003-2007 (which included a business and a trade union representative) were highly competent people with no local “parish pump” duties. Yet they failed miserably by allowing Irish Banks to borrow an additional 50% of GDP abroad in that period. Were the ministers who should have appropriately directed the Central Bank so overburdened with “parish pump” duties that they missed what was happening? In fact ministers have well staffed personal offices to deal with such matters as well as many local activists. They were in a position to concentrate on national affairs. Were these ministers incompetent? There is no reason to believe that the current cabinet is less competent than its predecessors. The fact that they led the country to destruction is not principally due to incompetence. Ministers had a civil service, the Economic and Social Research Institute and financial consultants reports available to them. Were the esteemed researchers of the ESRI so overburdened with constituency work that their warnings of danger were mild, muted, and full of caveats? I think not. Are they incompetent? Many professors and business PhDs staff the Institute. Would it have helped if many of them were in the Dail and in the cabinet via a list system? I think not. There is no reason to believe as Garret Fitzgerald argues that via a list system” the Dáil would benefit from having some TDs who would not be prisoners of local interests, but who could speak and act in the general national interest.” Many who were not prisoners of local interests acted in a more irresponsible way than those who were!
For a real explanation I believe we should return to the wise old saying : “Money is the root of all evil”. In a society where there is a vast disparity of wealth, it is inevitable that the majority of leading people (not just politicians) in society will be seduced into supporting the interests of the wealthy or at best remaining silent about the sins of the rich. It was ever thus. Leading people including journalists, professors, economic experts etc, tend to be sucked in to a cosy consensus of the rich in this form of society. “Dig-outs” by wealthy individuals or by banks and businesses may or may not be a factor in this. Absorption into the life-style of the rich and the adulation of their “betters” is sufficient for some. As they say in Tipperary: “With some people, a little goes a long way”. Great credit is due to academics such as Morgan Kelly and Tom O’Connor who stood out against the consensus (Long live tenure in our universities!)
Because the disparity of wealth is greater in Ireland than in most European Countries, the blandishments of the rich are more effective. When this tendency intersected with the flaws in the EU and in the Euro zone the outcome was disastrous. It is no accident that the main crisis flash-points are Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain-the less developed countries. Cheap money was available in the Eurozone. The rich of the less developed countries grabbed it, drove up asset values and enriched themselves. The Irish rich and their political allies acted with outrageous excess.
Short of fundamental social change to extirpate income disparity, there are some changes that could be introduced as a counterweight to the blandishments of the rich. A list system would worsen the situation by protecting ministers from the anger of the people. No matter what safeguards are put in place, it is inevitable that senior ministers would head the list and unless there was a complete voting collapse, the majority of the cabinet would be re-elected while the backbenchers suffered the consequences of bad government. Under the present system several ministers will rightly lose their seats or will be driven into retirement before the election.
Banning political donations and state funding of election candidates would help but only slightly. The reduction of the Dail term to three years would help greatly. The current government would have already been removed under such a system before they signed up to the disastrous EU/IMF deal. A means should be devised, a popular initiative, under which citizens through an official petition could call a general election. A situation in which a government with 13% support can conclude a deal which could impoverish generations is intolerable.
Finally there is a reform which is justified in its own right, though it is unlikely to protect us from bad governments. Currently Dail deputies are paid basic salary from the date they register until the Dail is dissolved even if they never attend. Recent changes affect expenses only. Dail deputies should have the same attendance regime as their civil service pay analogue in order to be paid salary. They should be required to register a vote, if only an abstention, on all stages of legislation. Pairing should only be allowed with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle in accordance with reasonable attendance criteria. This would end deprioritisation of the legislative function whether due to constituency pressures or the lure of the lecture circuit for former Taoisigh. Unfortunately, It is not surprising that politicians and former politicians never raise the matter of compulsory attendance of the Dail as a protection against undue competition at local level between deputies of the same party.
Never waste a good crisis! This is believed to be the motivation of the ruling elite in cutting the minimum wage. The dilution of popular democracy by the proposal of a list system of election could have the same motivation.

Categories: irish Politics

Sheehy and Fitzpatrick gain from Budget as Low Pensions Cut

December 12, 2010 1 comment

SCROLL DOWN FOR INCOME REDUCTION TABLES AT VARIOUS GROSS PENSIONS by Sean Fallon
Income reductions for Public Service pensioners range range from 579.58 Euro p/a on a gross pension of 15,000 to 3,490.26 Euro per year on a pension of 45,000 euro p/a if recipient has medical card
——————————————————————————————–
Table for Private Sector Occupational Pensioner on 550,000 per year by Paddy Healy using Deloitte Calculator on line
GAIN of 15,962 Euro
Table for Private Sector Occupational Pensioner on 15,000 per year by Paddy Healy using Deloitte Calculator on line
Loss is 399 Euro per year
——————————————————————————————————
Eugene Sheehy retired on a pension of 529,000euro from AIB—he gains almost 16000 Euro per year from Budget. Sean Fitzpatrick retired from Anglo Irish Bank on a pension of 4 million –he gains many multiples of the Sheehy gains, 100,000Euro plus from budget
Attention has already been drawn to the fact that super-high earners are gaining significant amounts frombudget while low and middle income recipients are being hit.
There is an even greater inequity in the matter of pension income. As pensioners and non-employees do not pay PRSI and are not affected by the abolition of the ceiling, a pensioner on 550,000 Euro gains approximately 16,000Euro per year and an employer on the same income gains approximately 12,000 Euro.
On the other hand a person with a private sector pension of 15,000 Euro (less than the minimum wage) loses 400 Euro per year and a public sector pensioner on 15,000 Euro per year loses 580 Euro per year.
The injustice springs from two sources.
The pensions of public servants on low incomes are being directly cut while high income private pensioners such as former bank chief executives are not
The application of the Universal Social Charge to all income provided it is above 4004 Euro per year disadvantages all those on low incomes. Heath and Income levies had thresholds of 27,000Euro and 15,000 Euro respectively. On the other hand the universal social charge only comes to 7% on very high incomes though the levies it replaces come to 11% giving a huge gain to those on very high pension incomes. Indeed a retired minister on 150,000E gains 500 Euro by the substitution of the Universal charge for the old levies. Only the public service pension cut prevents him/her from making a nett gain.

Reductions in low and middle pensions are totally unjustified as their recipients contributed on the basis of an expectation or implied contract as to their retirement income
The cut in the Public service pension is an abuse by the government of its position as legislator to benefit the government as employer.
It is another example of unjustified attacks in this budget
Paddy Healy 086-4183732
HOW THE BUDGET AFFECTS PENSIONS
69 Year Old Public Service Pensioner
who was receiving €15,000 gross per annum PENSION
BEFORE AFTER
Gross €15,000.00 €14,820.00
DEDUCTIONS
Income Tax —— ——
Income Levy —— ——
Health Levy —— ——
Universal Social Charge —— € 399.58
(Over 70s) (€ 399.58)
CREDITS
Age Related Credit € 325.00* € 245.00*
Age Exemption Tax Returned € 340.00* ——
Tax saved by these —— * ——
Net Pension €15,000.00 €14,420.42
(Over 70s) (€14,420.42)
This is a Net cut of €579.58 P/A (€579.58 after age 70)
If you paid no Health Levy due to Medical Card your “Before” . Net Pension would have been €15,000.00 .
The Net cut would be €579.58 P/A (€579.58 after age 70) .
This calculation makes no allowance for any other credits or exemptions that may have been lost in the budget or may be lost afterwards.
Public service pensioners have paid for their pensions throughout their entire working lives. Their pension is deferred salary, held in trust for them for up to 40 years by the State, which has the use of this money in the interim to invest in Ireland. When the pension falls due there is no justification for withholding any part of it either temporarily or permanently. Furthermore, the Government, as paymaster, should be paying an employer-contribution towards the public service pension for the same period of time, up to 40 years. Average employer contributions to pensions in the private sector are 5.8% (2010).
* Does not apply. Income too low. No tax to be paid.

——————————————————————————————————–
HOW THE BUDGET AFFECTS PENSIONS
69 Year Old Public Service Pensioner
who was receiving €20,000 gross per annum
PENSION
BEFORE AFTER
Gross €20,000.00 €19,520.00
DEDUCTIONS
Income Tax € 340.00 € 604.00
Income Levy € 400.00 ——
Health Levy —— ——
Universal Social Charge —— € 685.20
(Over 70s) (€ 580.08)
CREDITS
Age Related Credit € 325.00* € 245.00
Age Exemption € 340.00 ——
Tax saved by these € 340.00 € 49.00
Net Pension €19,600.00 € 18,279.80
(Over 70s) (€18,384.92)
This is a Net cut of €1,320.20 P/A (€1,215.08 after age 70)
If you paid no Health Levy due to Medical Card your “Before” . Net Pension would still have been €19,600.00 .
The Net cut would be €1,320.20 P/A (€1,215.08 after age 70)
This calculation makes no allowance for any other credits or exemptions that may have been lost in the budget or may be lost afterwards.
Public service pensioners have paid for their pensions throughout their entire working lives. Their pension is deferred salary, held in trust for them for up to 40 years by the State, which has the use of this money in the interim to invest in Ireland. When the pension falls due there is no justification for withholding any part of it either temporarily or permanently. Furthermore, the Government, as paymaster, should be paying an employer-contribution towards the public service pension for the same period of time, up to 40 years. Average employer contributions to pensions in the private sector are 5.8% (2010).
* Does not apply (exceeded by age exemption). Under 65s add €65.00 to any figures for “Before” Net Pension & all “cut” figures shown.
——————————————————————————————————–
HOW THE BUDGET AFFECTS PENSIONS

A 69 Year Old Public Service Pensioner
who was receiving €30,000 gross per annum
PENSION
BEFORE AFTER
Gross €30,000.00 €28,920.00
DEDUCTIONS
Income Tax € 2,340.00 € 2,484.00
Income Levy € 600.00 ——
Health Levy € 1,200.00 ——
Universal Social Charge —— € 1,343.20
(Over 70s) (€ 956.08)
CREDITS
Age Related Credit € 325.00 € 245.00
Tax saved by this € 65.00 € 49.00

Net Pension €25,925.00 €25,140.92
(Over 70s) (€25,528.04)
This is a Net cut of €784.08 P/A (€396.96 after age 70).
If you paid no Health Levy due to Medical Card your “Before” . Net Pension would have been €27,125.00. .
The Net cut would be €1,984.08 P/A (€1,596.96 after age 70).
This calculation makes no allowance for any other credits or exemptions that may have been lost in the budget or may be lost afterwards.
Public service pensioners have paid for their pensions throughout their entire working lives. Their pension is deferred salary, held in trust for them for up to 40 years by the State, which has the use of this money in the interim to invest in Ireland. When the pension falls due there is no justification for withholding any part of it either temporarily or permanently. Furthermore, the Government, as paymaster, should be paying an employer-contribution towards the public service pension for the same period of time, up to 40 years. Average employer contributions to pensions in the private sector are 5.8% (2010).
—————————————————————————————————
HOW THE BUDGET AFFECTS PENSIONS

69 Year Old Public Service Pensioner
who was receiving €35,000 gross per annum
PENSION
BEFORE AFTER
Gross €35,000.00 €33,290.00
DEDUCTIONS
Income Tax € 3,340.00 € 3,358.00
Income Levy € 700.00 ——
Health Levy 1,400.00 ——
Universal Social Charge —— € 1,649.20
(Over 70s) (€ 1,130.08)
CREDITS
Age Related Credit € 325.00* € 245.00
Tax saved by this € 65.00 € 49.00

Net Pension €29,635.00 € 28,331.90
(Over 70s) (€28,841.82)
This is a Net cut of €1,303.10 P/A (€794.08 after age 70)
If you paid no Health Levy due to Medical Card your “Before” . Net Pension would have been €31,035.00. .
The Net cut would be €2,703.10 P/A (€2,194.08 after age 70).
This calculation makes no allowance for any other credits or exemptions that may have been lost in the budget or may be lost afterwards.
Public service pensioners have paid for their pensions throughout their entire working lives. Their pension is deferred salary, held in trust for them for up to 40 years by the State, which has the use of this money in the interim to invest in Ireland. When the pension falls due there is no justification for withholding any part of it either temporarily or permanently. Furthermore, the Government, as paymaster, should be paying an employer-contribution towards the public service pension for the same period of time, up to 40 years. Average employer contributions to pensions in the private sector are 5.8% (2010).
——————————————————————————————————–
HOW THE BUDGET AFFECTS PENSIONS

69 Year Old Public Service Pensioner
who was receiving €40,000 gross per annum
PENSION
BEFORE AFTER
Gross €40,000.00 €37,840.00
DEDUCTIONS
Income Tax € 4,340.00 € 4,268.00
Income Levy € 800.00 ——
Health Levy € 1,600.00 ——
Universal Social Charge —— € 1,967.60
(Over 70s) (€1,312.88)
CREDITS
Age Related Credit € 325.00 € 245.00
Tax saved by this € 65.00 € 49.00

Net Pension €33,325.00 €31,671.40
(Over 70s) (€32,308.12)
This is a Net cut of €1,653.60 P/A (€1,016.88 after age 70)
If you paid no Health Levy due to Medical Card your “Before” . Net Pension would have been €34,925.00 .
The Net cut would be €3,253.60 P/A (€2,616.88 after age 70)
This calculation makes no allowance for any other credits or exemptions that may have been lost in the budget or may be lost afterwards.
Public service pensioners have paid for their pensions throughout their entire working lives. Their pension is deferred salary, held in trust for them for up to 40 years by the State, which has the use of this money in the interim to invest in Ireland. When the pension falls due there is no justification for withholding any part of it either temporarily or permanently. Furthermore, the Government, as paymaster, should be paying an employer-contribution towards the public service pension for the same period of time, up to 40 years. Average employer contributions to pensions in the private sector are 5.8% (2010).
——————————————————————————————————–
HOW THE BUDGET AFFECTS PENSIONS

A 69 Year Old Public Service Pensioner
who was receiving €45,000 gross per annum
PENSION
BEFORE AFTER
Gross €45,000.00 €42,390.00
DEDUCTIONS
Income Tax € 5,340.00 € 5,178.00
Income Levy € 900.00 ——
Health Levy € 1,800.00 ——
Universal Social Charge —— € 1,926.26
(Over 70s) (€1,374.24)
CREDITS
Age Related Credit € 325.00 € 245.00
Tax saved by this € 65.00 € 49.00

Net Pension € 37,025.00 € 35,334.74
(Over 70s) (€35,886.76)
This is a Net cut of €1690.26 P/A (€1138.24 after age 70).
If you paid no Health Levy due to Medical Card your “Before” . Net Pension would have been €38,825.00 .
The Net cut would be €3,490.26 P/A (€2,938.24 after age 70)
This calculation makes no allowance for any other credits or exemptions that may have been lost in the budget or may be lost afterwards.
Public service pensioners have paid for their pensions throughout their entire working lives. Their pension is deferred salary, held in trust for them for up to 40 years by the State, which has the use of this money in the interim to invest in Ireland. When the pension falls due there is no justification for withholding any part of it either temporarily or permanently. Furthermore, the Government, as paymaster, should be paying an employer-contribution towards the public service pension for the same period of time, up to 40 years. Average employer contributions to pensions in the private sector are 5.8% (2010).
—————————————————————————————————–
Paddy Healy
Private Sector Pensioner on 550,000 Euro (65-69 yrs)–NO CUT in Gross
after budget ————————- before budget
Your Income €550,000.00————————- €550,000.00
Loan BIK €0.00—————————————– €0.00
Vehicle BIK (1) €0.00——————————— €0.00
Health Insurance BIK €0.00——————————- €0.00
Qualifying Pension Deduction (€0.00)——————————- (€0.00)
Carer Allowance (€0.00)—————————————– (€0.00)
Tax @ Lower Rate (20 %) €6,560.00—————————————— (20 %) €7,280.00
Tax @ Higher Rate (41 %) €212,052.00—————————————— (41 %) €210,576.00
Tax Credits (€1,943.00)———————————————— (€2,155.00)
Net Tax (€216,669.00)——————————————- (€215,701.00)
PRSI (€0.00) —————————————————- (€0.00)
Health Levy N/A——————————————- (€26,750.00)
Income Levy N/A———————————————- (€28,000.00)
Universal Levy (€37,819.00)———————————– N/A
Annual Net Income €295,512.00———————————— €279,550.00

Nett Gain =295,512-279,550 =15,962 Euro
————————————————————————————————
Paddy Healy Private Sector Pensioner(65-69 yrs) on 15,000 per year
after budget—————————-before budget
Your Income €15,000.00————————————15,000.00
Loan BIK €0.00————————————————- €0.00
Vehicle BIK (1) €0.00——————————– €0.00
Health Insurance BIK €0.00—————— €0.00
Qualifying Pension Deduction (€0.00) ——————- (€0.00)
Carer Allowance (€0.00)————- (€0.00)
Tax @ Lower Rate (20 %) €0.00————————————— (20 %) €0.00
Tax @ Higher Rate (41 %) €0.00————————————- (41 %) €0.00
Tax Credits (€0.00) ————————————– (€0.00)
Net Tax (€0.00)—————————– (€0.00)
PRSI (€0.00) ———————————- (€0.00)
Health Levy N/A———————————– (€0.00)
Income Levy N/A———————————— (€0.00)
Universal Levy (€399.00)——————————– N/A
Annual Net Income €14,601.00——————————– €15,000.00
LOSS=15,000-14,601 =399 Euro per year

Call to all Deputies to vote against Pension Cuts by 12 To-day

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Statement From Paddy Healy following Public Meeting on Pension Cuts sponsored by
National public Service Alliance in teachers Club Parnell Square Dublin Dec 9
Please e-mail your Dail Deputy immediately and call on her/him to vote against the pension cut
A retired failed banker on a pension of 550,000 E per annum will get a RISE of 16,000 Euro per year due to Budget 2011
A public sector pensioner on a pension of 15,000 Euro per year will get a DROP 0f 580 euro per year due to Budget 2011
A private sector pensioner on an occupational pension of 15, 000 Euro per year will get a DROP of 400 Euro per year due to Budget 2011
Calculations are contained in attachments above
This can be checked on the Deloitte Calculator on Line (remove PRSI charge from table for pension income)
We call on all Deputies to vote against cuts in public and private pensions under 50,000 Euro per year and to reject this obscene budget. The measure cutting pensions is contained in the sams bill which makes a disgracsful cut in the minimum wage
Paddy Healy
Chairman, NPSA
01-8374208
087-6889081
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Unfair Budget Will Not Work- A Modest Proposal

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Nobel Economics Prize Winner, Paul Krugman recalls Dean Swift’s satirical proposal to eat children!
Eating the Irish
By PAUL KRUGMAN
What we need now is another Jonathan Swift. Most people know Swift as the author of “Gulliver’s Travels.” But recent events have me thinking of his 1729 essay “A Modest Proposal,” in which he observed the dire poverty of the Irish, and offered a solution: sell the children as food. “I grant this food will be somewhat dear,” he admitted, but this would make it “very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.”
O.K., these days it’s not the landlords, it’s the bankers — and they’re just impoverishing the populace, not eating it. But only a satirist — and one with a very savage pen — could do justice to what’s happening to Ireland now. The Irish story began with a genuine economic miracle. But eventually this gave way to a speculative frenzy driven by runaway banks and real estate developers, all in a cozy relationship with leading politicians. The frenzy was financed with huge borrowing on the part of Irish banks, largely from banks in other European nations.
Then the bubble burst, and those banks faced huge losses. You might have expected those who lent money to the banks to share in the losses. After all, they were consenting adults, and if they failed to understand the risks they were taking that was nobody’s fault but their own. But, no, the Irish government stepped in to guarantee the banks’ debt, turning private losses into public obligations. Before the bank bust, Ireland had little public debt. But with taxpayers suddenly on the hook for gigantic bank losses, even as revenues plunged, the nation’s creditworthiness was put in doubt. So Ireland tried to reassure the markets with a harsh program of spending cuts.
Step back for a minute and think about that. These debts were incurred, not to pay for public programs, but by private wheeler-dealers seeking nothing but their own profit. Yet ordinary Irish citizens are now bearing the burden of those debts. Or to be more accurate, they’re bearing a burden much larger than the debt — because those spending cuts have caused a severe recession so that in addition to taking on the banks’ debts, the Irish are suffering from plunging incomes and high unemployment. But there is no alternative, say the serious people: all of this is necessary to restore confidence. Strange to say, however, confidence is not improving. On the contrary: investors have noticed that all those austerity measures are depressing the Irish economy — and are fleeing Irish debt because of that economic weakness.
Now what? Last weekend Ireland and its neighbors put together what has been widely described as a “bailout.” But what really happened was that the Irish government promised to impose even more pain, in return for a credit line — a credit line that would presumably give Ireland more time to, um, restore confidence. Markets, understandably, were not impressed: interest rates on Irish bonds have risen even further. Does it really have to be this way?
In early 2009, a joke was making the rounds: “What’s the difference between Iceland and Ireland? Answer: One letter and about six months.” This was supposed to be gallows humor. No matter how bad the Irish situation, it couldn’t be compared with the utter disaster that was Iceland. But at this point Iceland seems, if anything, to be doing better than its near-namesake. Its economic slump was no deeper than Ireland’s, its job losses were less severe and it seems better positioned for recovery. In fact, investors now appear to consider Iceland’s debt safer than Ireland’s. How is that possible?
Part of the answer is that Iceland let foreign lenders to its runaway banks pay the price of their poor judgment, rather than putting its own taxpayers on the line to guarantee bad private debts. As the International Monetary Fund notes — approvingly! — “private sector bankruptcies have led to a marked decline in external debt.” Meanwhile, Iceland helped avoid a financial panic in part by imposing temporary capital controls — that is, by limiting the ability of residents to pull funds out of the country. And Iceland has also benefited from the fact that, unlike Ireland, it still has its own currency; devaluation of the krona, which has made Iceland’s exports more competitive, has been an important factor in limiting the depth of Iceland’s slump.
None of these heterodox options are available to Ireland, say the wise heads. Ireland, they say, must continue to inflict pain on its citizens — because to do anything else would fatally undermine confidence. But Ireland is now in its third year of austerity, and confidence just keeps draining away. And you have to wonder what it will take for serious people to realize that punishing the populace for the bankers’ sins is worse than a crime; it’s a mistake.

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Stand up to EU/IMF—Sen. David Norris

December 5, 2010 Leave a comment

The necessity to reject the usurious and impoverishing EU/IMF deal is gaining wider support. Trinity senator,David Norris attempted to read out the list of bondholders at Anglo-Irish bank in the Seanad but was interrupted by the Ceann-Comhairle. In the Sunday Independent, Dec 5, Senator Norris Explained:
“What I was doing in trying to put the list out is to show that they are German, French, Italian and British banks. So naturally they [the EU and IMF] are going to lend us money, so we can pay them. They’re going to screw us by extracting the money from the people.”
Mr Norris was scathing in his remarks on the €85bn deal the Government struck last week with the EU and IMF.
On this, he said: “These people in the ECB and in Europe know it’s wrong. Angela Merkel knows it’s wrong. But they’re only going to change the rules when they have screwed us.
“Nobody else will get screwed because nobody else will put up with it. My view always was: ‘You want to put it up to us? We’ll pull the plug. We’ll bring the whole bloody thing [the EU] down, unless you give us this money to pay yourselves at zero interest or one per cent.’ Six per cent is ridiculous. I mean, not only are they treating us like a money-laundering outfit for people who at the very least are stupid and greedy, ordinary Irish people, who haven’t done anything wrong, will have to pay for it.” See full list of Anglo-Irish Bondholders by clicking on this address
http://newswhip.ie/national-2/norris-reveals-the-names-of-irelands-bondholders-in-seanad

Sovereignty conceded as Super-Rich Escape under EU/IMF Memorandum of Agreement

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Sovereignty conceded as Irish Super-Rich Escape under EU/IMF Memorandum of Agreement
This memorandum of understanding shows that EU/IMF is not just specifying overall parameters of economic and fiscal policy of this state but is specifying detailed measures.
Attacks on the poor and middle income recipients and occupational pensions are individually specified. There is no imposition on the assets or huge incomes of the very rich.
Public sector pay will be cut again if sufficient cuts are not in place within 9 months.
Weekly progress reports must be sent by government to EU/IMF in addition to quarterly reviews of the exchequer balance.
Failure to comply will result in a withdrawal of credit.
This state is now being ruled in economic matters by international investors through EU/IMF with the collaboration of the Irish Government and the Central Bank.
The letter of intent from Ireland is signed by Central Bank Governor Honahan in addition to Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan.
Professor Katleen Lynch quoted a Central Statistics Office (CSO) report on To-night with Vincent Browne recently which shows that super-rich Irish entities have 1.25 trillion (1,250 Billion) Euro deposited abroad.
Unite The Union (Economic Advisor Michael Taft) estimate that the top 6% of Irish super-rich now hold 250 billion in personal assets and the smaller group of 33,000 millionaires (Wealth of Nation Report 2006) still have 120 billion Euro according to CIT economist Tom O’Connor.
(Launch of UNITE Alternative Budget, to-day Thursday 11am, Buswells Hotel)

Paddy Healy 086-4183732

NB NPSA Meeting on Pension Cuts will now take place in Teachers Club on Monday DEC 6, at 8pm

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